Sheep Lyrics – Animals – Pink Floyd
Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away;
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.
You better watch out,
There may be dogs about
I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.
What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real.
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel.
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
Now things are really what they seem.
No, this is no bad dream.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by.
With bright knives He releaseth my soul.
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places.
He converteth me to lamb cutlets,
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.
When cometh the day we lowly ones,
Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
Master the art of karate,
Lo, we shall rise up,
And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water.
Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.
Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you’re told.
Get out of the road if you want to grow old.
About the Song
“Sheep” is a key track from Pink Floyd’s concept album “Animals,” released in 1977. The song carries forward the album’s dark and allegorical examination of human society through the prism of George Orwell’s dystopian perspective, although it doesn’t directly adapt “Animal Farm.” Instead, it draws on the animal kingdom to satirize the social classes.
In “Sheep,” the band presents a narrative from the perspective of the docile and obedient masses, the followers of society who are often led without question – the titular sheep. The song starts with a serene atmosphere, reminiscent of sheep’s passive existence, but as it progresses, it builds into a powerful and unsettling portrayal of realization and uprising.
The music captures the essence of this transformation with a blend of tranquil and menacing sounds. The song is characterized by Richard Wright’s prominent keyboard work and David Gilmour’s aggressive guitar playing, representing the tension and eventual revolt within the supposedly submissive populace.
The lyrics of “Sheep” tell a tale of the gradual awakening and rebellion of the masses. It includes a modified version of the 23rd Psalm, which turns the comforting religious text into a chilling parody, reflecting the sheep’s evolving consciousness and their potential for violence when pushed too far. The line “He’s a silent gun to flatten the hills and terrify the dentist” is particularly noteworthy, showing how the once meek can turn formidable.
The climax of “Sheep” sees the herded animals turning on their oppressors, the dogs, and by implication, the pigs, symbolizing a revolutionary overthrow. This is Pink Floyd’s powerful message: beneath the placidity of the masses lies a potential for dramatic change. It’s an ominous warning to the ruling classes about underestimating the power of the people they control.
“Sheep” encapsulates Pink Floyd’s deep cynicism towards societal constructs and human nature. The track’s enduring appeal lies in its ability to weave intricate storytelling with profound political commentary, all within the framework of progressive rock music. It remains a poignant reminder of the latent power within seemingly powerless groups.
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